Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Don and Timmy

I listened to the Imus in the Morning program on Monday morning. Imus was respectful, and said some nice things about Tim Russert in the first 5 minutes of the show, but his tone was frankly not as somber as I would have expected for someone he had on the show greater than 15o times over the past 10+ years. Here's the link to the podcast (click on link to show from 6/16 in the playbox on the right of the page).

The best part of the show were the guests that came on, such as Mike Barnicle and James Carville, Mary Matalin, Joe Leiberman, and Howard Kurtz. The guests were much more emotional and told much more touching stories about Tim (that made me cry, again) than anyone from the Imus crew. Charles, who used to have Thanksgiving dinner with the Russerts, said about 10 words about Russert (something to the effect of "it's surreal...it doesn't seem possible"). Bernie (the producer of the show), said some brief nice words about how Tim would ask him how his father was doing.

Within 5 minutes of the start of the show, Imus and Warner Wolf were joking about the NBA Finals and PGA Championship. Throughout the rest of the show, in between interviews, they were having their usual small talk and were telling jokes. Imus was also very concerned about getting to listen to the playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate on satellite radio while in the car as he drove to the airport later that day.

I don't know, maybe I was expecting too much of Imus. Maybe I'm a big sap by being so sad about someone that I loved watching and listening to so much, compared to someone that Imus used to talk to at least every month.

Regarding the whole "controversy" surrounding his firing, Imus said that there was never any question that he would have Russert back on the show, despite what many people were saying. Later in the show, he did say they had a "complicated relationship", but there was "no one else to put on the show." Imus did say that of the 150+ plus times on the show, he was never "awful."
If you want to hear true sincerity and respect for The Man, listen to the interviews with Barnicle (25.5 minutes in) and Carville (79 minutes in).

I was initially a little upset about Russert's lack of public support for Imus after the scandal. However, Carville, during his interview, stated repeatedly how much Russert loved Imus and the whole team and that he called Carville repeatedly with ideas to help out Imus. It is clear to me that Russert was given a gag order by NBC and that he never diminished his loyalty for his friend, Don Imus. I should have never doubted him. I'm sorry Tim.

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